Ryuk Mows the Lawn

BY : sashocirrione
Category: Death Note > General
Dragon prints: 874
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note, and I do not make any money from these writings.

Title: "Ryuk Mows the Lawn"

Author: Sashocirrione

Spoilers: Spoilers for everything up to episode 9 of the anime, chapter 18 of the manga.

Warnings: Rated T for teen. Mentions of violence and mentions of implied murders.

Summary: Light is confident that Ryuk can handle the task of mowing the lawn, with apples as payment, of course.

Pairings: None

Additional Notes: All canon events previous to the start of this fic have occurred as normal. This fic occurs during the gap between when Light has his college entrance exam (January 17th) and when Light starts college at To-Oh University (on April 5th). This months-long gap occurs in the middle of episode 9, with only the change in weather (from snowy to showing green things everywhere) signifying to people unfamiliar with the Japanese academic schedule that such a long time has passed. In the manga, this period occurs between the end of chapter 18 and the beginning of chapter 19 (both chapters are in volume 3).

Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note, and I do not make any money from these writings.


Ryuk heard a knock at Light's bedroom door. Light didn't answer for just long enough to finish writing a name and then, as he was slipping his death note into its secret hiding place in the false drawer-bottom, Light yelled, "What is it?"

Sachiko's voice came through the door, muffled, saying, "Light, I can't quite hear you. Please open the door."

Light got up, his disgust in being interrupted showing in his posture and expression. Ryuk almost chuckled at seeing it. Then Light erased all those signs from his face and body so quickly that it was almost astounding, the transformation into a happy, perfect son complete by the time he unlocked the door and stood there smiling for his mother.

Sachiko said, "Light, I'm going shopping with your sister. We're traveling to the opposite side of Tokyo, and she'll be picking out clothes, so it will probably be a long time. I wanted to remind you that you haven't mowed the lawn yet. Can you have it mowed by the time we get back?"

Light replied, "If you ask me, grass shouldn't be mowed for the first time until the middle of April. It allows it more time to establish itself, for healthier grass later in the season."

Ryuk said, "You're just trying to trick her into giving you more time with the death note, aren't you?"

Light's smile curled just slightly farther than before. Ryuk took that to mean, "yes".

Sachiko said, "Light, have you seen the grass? It has been a very wet spring and it's surprisingly tall already."

"Yes, but the neighbors can't see into our yard, so it hardly matters if we wait another day or two."

There was a pounding noise of feet hurrying up the stairs and then Sayu appeared behind Sachiko, practically bouncing on her toes as she said, "Mom, what's taking so long?"

Sachiko frowned and said, "It matters for your father, Light. He works so many hours, and, if he gets home before dark tonight, I'd like him to see a nice lawn, as a surprise. Besides, you can't possibly have any school work to do."

Light said, "You know I've already bought my college textbooks. I'm studying them now so I will progress in my classes quickly."

Sayu made a distasteful face and said, "You're such a nerd, Light! If there's one time you shouldn't study, it's after you're out of high school but before college starts. You even aced the entrance exam! You should be dating or going out with friends! It's time for partying before the work starts again."

Light leaned back against the doorframe and said, "I'm just not the partying type, Sayu. I care about making myself the best I can be, making Mom and Dad proud."

Sachiko said, "You'll make your father proud by mowing the lawn. I'm sure it will be at least three hours until we're back. That's plenty of time to mow the lawn, and no more arguing."

As Sachiko and Sayu turned away to go down the stairs, Ryuk laughed and said, "It looks like they outsmarted you, Light. What are you going to do?"

As soon as Light's sister and mother were out of sight, Light's disgusted expression returned.

He locked the door, leaning against it and sighing, then said, "I got behind on the judgments and I need to catch up. I know I proved myself innocent when L had cameras here, but I'm sure he hasn't completely taken his eyes off me, and if he associates a time I was busy and distracted with a time when Kira's pattern changed, he could be back to look at me again. I need to track down all the media announcements of criminals over the last week and make sure I haven't missed too many of them."

Ryuk said, "It's a good thing you usually have them die at least a few days after the broadcast, right? Because otherwise you'd never be able to catch up without making an obvious change in your pattern."

Light crossed his arms and said, "Exactly right, Ryuk. Well, how would you like to earn an extra ten apples for tomorrow?"

"Huh?"

Light said, "Ryuk, I'm sure you can mow the lawn. It's a small yard. It won't take too long. Since the neighbors can't see in, you won't get caught. Even if someone did catch a glimpse, I would just say I rigged it with a remote control."

"I've never mowed a lawn."

"It's easy, Ryuk. I'll tell you exactly how to do it."

Ryuk listened as Light launched into an explanation that didn't sound too complicated. Light talked as he pulled out the death note and once more began researching media announcements of criminals by using the internet.

When Light was done, he said, "Got it?"

"Yeah. Doesn't sound hard at all."

Ryuk unfurled his wings and glided through a wall, descending and spiraling down. There was a tiny shed in the back yard, barely large enough to hold the lawnmower and a few other things. Ryuk fiddled with the latch several times before getting it open. It was too bad he couldn't just pull the mower through the wall; that would have been easier.

He pulled the lawnmower itself out to the center of the backyard and studied it, trying to see all the buttons and levers and hatches Light had spoken of. It didn't seem quite as easy as it had before.

Ryuk said to himself, "Okay, so first I've got to make sure it has enough oil and gas in it."

After a bit of looking, Ryuk found two caps that could be screwed off. He looked down in the tube revealed by each of them. He could see dark liquid sloshing around the bottom of each chamber as he picked up the lawnmower and shook it. Was it enough? Both of them looked pretty low. It would probably be best to fill them up.

Ryuk got the two containers marked "oil" and "gas" from the little shed, and he was about to pour one in when he realized his mistake.

He flew back to Light's room and said, "Light, I can't tell which tank is for oil and which one is for gas."

Without even turning around, Light said, "The gas tank has a larger opening. Also, both have labels along the side telling what they are."

"Okay, labels on the side. Got it."

Ryuk went back and immediately saw the labels. He poured the oil in first. It filled up so fast it ran over the top and dripped down the side of the lawnmower.

Ryuk said, "Okay, I won't do that again."

He filled the gas tank completely, without spilling. It was even with the top, brimming full.

Then Ryuk realized he'd forgotten about the first step in the process, searching the yard for sticks or other things that might get in the way. Light had said anything like that could break the blades or get launched by them into the air, damaging other things in the process. It was going to be a good mowing, earning those extra apples. Ryuk could almost taste them already.

He flew around the yard, getting the few sticks and branches. There was nothing else. He couldn't remember what Light had said to do with them, so he poked his head through the fence and, seeing nobody there, threw them over the fence into a neighbor's yard.

Then he examined the lawnmower, looking for the knob that could be pulled out to reveal a long string. He grasped several things before he found the correct knob, then pulled the string out, hard, three times. The motor roared to life on the third pull.

Ryuk grinned. This was easy. He got behind the mower just like he'd seen humans do, and pushed it along. The oil and gas both sloshed out constantly as it moved, creating a mess.

Ryuk realized the caps needed to be screwed back on. He went looking for them, but he couldn't find them.

Ryuk said to himself, "They probably aren't that important. They'll turn up later, I'm sure."

He went back to mowing, but when he reached the fence and turned the mower around, he realized there was no difference in the grass. Everything he'd gone over was the same height as before.

Ryuk got down on his hands and knees, became incorporeal, and thrust his face under the bottom of the lawnmower. The blades were not rotating, though the motor was running. Suddenly, Ryuk remembered Light saying something about a bar or lever on the handle that had to be pressed down continuously. It was some kind of human safety feature, to keep them from shredding their own feet.

Ryuk stood behind the mower again, fiddling with the handle, until at last he saw it. He pulled it up and held it in position. He could hear the difference. The blades must be rotating. Just to make sure he picked up the mower and saw it, a blur of sharp rotation. When he put the mower back down, he realized he'd spilled more of the oil and gas. But the tanks still looked like they had some in them. He could always refill if the motor quit.

Secure in his newfound skill, Ryuk mowed again over the same swath of grass, and yet when he reached the edge of the yard and turned around, he once again found that the grass hadn't been cut.

This time he used his legs to hold the lever down while he went incorporeal and looked under the mower. Yes, the blades were spinning, but they were too high. They needed to be lowered.

Ryuk came out and studied the various knobs, switches, levers and dials. He couldn't figure it out. Whatever he did, the blades wouldn't come down.

Ryuk stopped the blades, then reached underneath and bent each one down.

He mowed the swath of grass a third time, looking over his shoulder behind him, and was pleased to see shorter grass and lots of cuttings. It was uneven from one side to the other, and there were some dark brown slices of cut turf, but it got the job done. It had to be good enough.

Ryuk went in rows, getting the entire back yard, smiling as he thought of the extra apples. Then he went around to the front. Everything was going great until he crossed the sidewalk.

Then, with a horrible screech of metal on rock, a fountain of sparks rose up and in the next instant the lawnmower was in flames. They were even spreading backwards along the trail of spilled gas and oil.

Ryuk couldn't remember what to do about a fire, so he flew back into Light's room.

Light's computer was showing some news article. Light was hunched over the death note on his desk, the scratching sounds of the pen the only sound in the room.

Ryuk said, "Hey, Light!"

"What?"

Light didn't even bother to turn around.

"The lawnmower is on fire."

At that, the sounds of the pen stopped and Light looked over his shoulder, horror etched on his face. He didn't say anything. He didn't look as if he'd be capable of saying anything for a few moments.

Ryuk took that opportunity to say, "I still get ten extra apples, right? I did everything you told me to."


A/N (Author's Note):

This is clearly a procrastination fic, written as a way to let off steam while struggling with writing the endings to both "Fifty Days" and "Fever Dreams", my two longest-running novel-length fanfics. I will say this much: I never, never want to have two novel-length fics in progress at the same time again. It is very exhausting. Once those two are done, I hope I'll be able to limit myself to shorter fics for a while. If I do start anything novel-length again, I sincerely hope it will be just one of them at a time, not two. Two is simply ridiculous.

As to this fic itself, it fulfilled my need for fluff for the moment. I know there isn't much genfic fluff out there about Light and Ryuk, but I think there is a lot of unexplored potential there and I wish there was more of it.



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